This island of ours really is going festival-gaga this week and it is all kicking off with this festival in Clonmel. Now in its 11th year, Clonmel Junction Festival is celebrating the theme of participation and everyone and anyone can be part of the action.
From clowning and choral workshops to community bunting projects and street dancing competitions, this is your chance to step into the spotlight, or lend a hand. On the mainstage, you can also catch award-winning international shows such as Bound and Flhip Flhop, and also the story of Ireland's only ever Wimbledon finalist Vere Gould. We're particularly looking forward to the world premiere of City of Clowns by Barabbas founder Raymond Keane. The festival opens tonight and continues until July 10.
SATURDAY, JULY 2
The Script, Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Even if you can't abide The Script's sappier-than-thou stadium pop, it's difficult to begrudge the Dubliners their basement-to-bling success. With a glossy drive-time sound that could have been precision engineered for copping hipster hate, this St James' Street three-piece have effortlessly conquered Britain and the US, where second album Science and Faith crashed the Billboard top five. But fame hasn't quite knocked all the edges off. Recently, frontman Danny caused a hoo-haa when he lashed out at sainted Pulp leader Jarvis Cocker, suggesting the Britpopsters had reunited for the money and that Cocker should 'stay clear' of him backstage at T In the Park. He's crazy and we like it. Support is from the thinking person's grime dandy Tinie Tempah.
SUNDAY, JULY 3
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, General Release
Michael Bay could never be accused of subtlety, and this third Transformers instalment swaggers into your local Cineplex boasting a $200m budget and a running time of two-and-a-half hours. Not for the faint of heart, then, but in fairness Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a huge improvement on its utterly forgettable predecessor. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and the Autobots face their sternest challenge yet as the Decepticons arrive to colonise the Earth. A fine supporting cast includes John Turturro, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand, and the 3D effects are very impressive. The climactic battle, however, is interminable.
MONDAY, JULY 4
Pinching for My Soul, Focus Theatre, Dublin 2
Shania is a young junkie whose mum sends her out with a shopping list of things to rob. Chike, a security guard from London, does his job really well but has to tolerate racial abuse from his colleagues. Brona, the classic well-heeled suburban housewife married to a politician, is utterly dissatisfied with her life and marriage. Set in a Dublin department store, Elizabeth Moynihan's new play peels back the layers of these characters to reveal the tangled emotions beneath the surface. Directed by Blanche McIntyre, it stars Geraldine Plunkett, Seun Shote and Emma Colohan.
TUESDAY, JULY 5
Parked, Galway Town Hall
Although there is a certain music festival opening at the end of this week, the early part of it is taken up with filmtastic fun and frolics as the Galway Film Fleadh opens for business this evening. Now in its 23rd year, this filmathon always delivers Irish and international premieres a-plenty as well as the most random guest appearances imaginable. Woody Harrelson's bongo performance still takes some beating. This year's opening film is the story of an unlikely friendship between two men who live in their cars for very different reasons. The directorial debut of Darragh Byrne, this stars Colin Morgan as a 21-year-old dope-smoking drop-out and Colm Meaney as Fred, a man who has given up on life.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 6
Unlawful Killing, Galway Town Hall
Now if ever a film was guaranteed to stoke the fires of controversy, it is this documentary showing at the Galway Film Fleadh. Conspiracy theories have always abounded around the violent death of Princess Diana and her partner Dodi Fayed, but none have really developed beyond the realm of the fanciful. Perhaps they've just been suppressed? Allen recreates key moments from the inquest, which he attended, and attempts to demonstrate how a major cover-up was perpetrated. Vital evidence was concealed, the royal family was exempted from giving evidence and British journalists systematically misreported what happened -- or so this claims. The senior officials claim this is all hokum -- but, then again, they would, wouldn't they. You decide.
THURSDAY, JULY 7
Oxegen 2011, Punchestown, Kildare
The countdown is over. Prepare to rock and to roll -- though, hopefully not in a field of mud.
Day & Night